Happy Memorial Day! (This post is not at all related to Memorial Day, but I thought I should throw that in.)
It’s been almost three months since Greg and I broke up and I’m happy to report my thoughts on that subject are mostly of the “That was the best decision,” variety instead of the “Maybe I should call him,” type. Scrolling through my Facebook and Instagram accounts I’ve been reminded, through every memory and picture, how miserable I was toward the end of our relationship. Oh, a photo of a meal at a great new restaurant? Yeah, we fought for almost an hour while we waited for our table to be ready. Snapshot of fireworks from last Fourth of July? I almost broke up with him that night because he tried to cancel our plans for the evening because his ex-wife was still pulling his strings like a marionette. When I get sad it’s less because I miss him (though the first six months of our relationship were pretty great) and more because I am dismayed I stayed so long with someone who didn’t make me a priority. I sacrificed so many parts of myself and my life for no reason. I spent almost an entire year feeling uneasy about his level of commitment to me, and let’s not forget how cruel he became, as well. What on earth was wrong with me? Stupid hopeful optimism.
Anyway, I have to say, I’ve felt great these past weeks. I didn’t realize the weight of my sadness until it lifted. Instead of spending my kid-free time with Greg I’ve been working out again, getting my house in order, and hanging out with friends who aren’t going to belittle me.
Admittedly, I’ve perhaps been keeping myself too busy. True, I’m an extrovert so the prospect of an entire weekend alone makes me shudder, but I’ve really been making sure my days without my children are packed with activities. Since Hildy and I reconnected, we’ve been taking part in all the same old post-divorce/pre-Greg shenanigans – going out dancing and consuming alcoholic beverages, talking about Hildy’s dating life, and generally behaving like single women in our 20s (which may or may not be viewed as a good thing).
Speaking of Hildy’s dating life, she’s trying to get me to sign up for Tinder. She’s been using the app for a couple of months and is having a blast. She says she’s highly selective and makes sure guys understand she’s just looking for friends right now. I am… hesitant. First, I don’t think I’m ready to date again. Have I learned yet why I stayed with Greg so long when I felt so awful?? I’m no therapist, but I have a hunch I should figure that out before lining up a bunch of first dates. Second, this is so superficial, but I gained about 15 pounds while I was with Greg, and I don’t feel good enough about myself or confident enough to meet men.
That being said, a friend of mine orchestrated an email introduction between me and one of her male friends. Apparently we lived in the same out-of-state city for a couple of years and she thought I’d like his nerdiness (it’s true, I like smart, nerdy guys). He and I have been emailing but so far he comes across as kind of a complainer – his health, his job, traveling, etc. Almost every email has included something he’s displeased about. I plan to meet him (because I feel like I have to since our mutual friend set this up) and hope he’s more upbeat in person, but the last person I need in my life right now is an Eeyore.
I miss my kids more and more when they’re with their dad. They’re at ages where I can glimpse the adults they’ll become, and I feel like I’m coming into my motherhood prime with them all pre-teens and elementary aged. We can actually DO things together now and enjoy them – no more chasing toddlers or worrying about super early bedtimes. I ran a 5k with my oldest kids and they kicked my ass. I take them out to new restaurants and they actually try and enjoy foreign foods. What? We can take a walk around a lake and no one whines. Okay, that’s a lie, at least one kid usually whines, but it’s only for a short while! Improvements.
On the job front, I was promoted earlier this month and the financial increase has me breathing easier now, phew. I had to take a pay cut to get into my company and my last position had me below the poverty level for my family size, though child support helped mitigate that shortfall. My hours are more flexible, as well, and my boss is laid-back, which is going to be a huge improvement when it comes to my kids’ schedules.
Today is Memorial Day and I spent the whole holiday alone, unless you count the hour and a half I was at Target as socializing. I mowed the lawn, organized my office, put away clean clothes, assembled a shelf, and finally read the Sunday paper. I had a moment of loneliness – my kids are with their dad and I could see from Greg’s Snapchat that he’s enjoying the day with his children and friends – and momentarily wished I still had Greg to spend time with. But it’s probably not Greg I miss, just having someone. I may not be ready to date right now, but I think the time will come when I’m open to being vulnerable again. The risk will be worth it if I’m able to find someone I love who loves me in return. Despite my divorce and now the ended two-year relationship with Greg, I’m hopeful there’s someone out there who’s content, liberal, positive and who’s weirdness complements my own. Don’t they say there’s a lid to every pot?
And yet I know I will be okay even if that never happens. I have family, I have friends, I have interests, I have social media. If I’m still single when I’m 90 I can move into an assisted living home and have plenty of folks to talk to, right?
Life is good right now – I plan to enjoy every moment. A bad relationship is never better than no relationship at all. I won’t rely on anyone else to create happiness in my life. I’m in control of how I see the world, and I think the world is beautiful.
Image of the mannequins by Thomas Long (altered by me) used under creative commons license.